Association of Cricket Officials

Last updated

ECB Association of Cricket Officials
Sport Cricket (umpiring and scoring)
Founded1 January 2008
Affiliation England and Wales Cricket Board
Location Edgbaston Cricket Ground, Birmingham
Chairman Roger Knight
CEO Nick Cousins
Replaced ACU&S
ECB Officials Association

The Association of Cricket Officials (ACO) is an organisation set up to represent and support cricket officials, especially umpires and scorers. It operates under the auspices of the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and is often referred to as the "ECB ACO" or similar. Current membership (as of March 2015) is "near 8,000".



The ACO was formed on 1 January 2008 as a result of members of the Association of Cricket Umpires and Scorers (ACU&S) having voted in favour of their organisation amalgamating with the ECB Officials Association (ECB OA).

When the association was formed, an Interim Board was set up to get the new organisation rolling. Roger Knight was appointed as Chairman of the Interim Board, and has remained the ACO chairman since.


Mark Benson umpiring in ACO clothing at a women's ODI in England. Markbenson.jpg
Mark Benson umpiring in ACO clothing at a women's ODI in England.

The association has the following membership categories, with respective subscription rates, as of March 2015:

Full, associate and junior memberships are for persons resident in England and Wales; EC membership is for those otherwise living in the European Union (and the Crown dependencies), and overseas membership is for remaining places in the world.

Full, junior and EC members are those who are "active" in officiating in cricket – the association provides appropriate insurance cover as standard to these members (hence the higher subscription fees). Members officiate across the cricket spectrum from village cricket to Test cricket, including women's cricket.

Full and junior members (aged 16 and over) must be certified by the Disclosure and Barring Service if active in England and Wales.

County Associations

For each ECB County Board [1] there is an attached county ACO association. Members of the ACO residing in England and Wales are also a member of one of these county associations, typically the one where they live or are active in.

Counties are then grouped into four regions (Midlands, London & East, South & West, and North), which are used largely as a forum for the county associations and to represent them on the national (England & Wales) ACO Board.

Wales has a single ECB cricket board (called Cricket Wales) and therefore a single ACO association, which is also the (fifth) regional body. [2]

Education programme

A new structure of cricket umpiring and scoring qualifications has now been put into place and the ACO provides training and examinations for these. [3] Separate pathways (through the levels of qualifications) exist for umpires [4] and scorers. [5] Entrants to the pathways do not have to be ACO members, but to progress beyond Level 1 membership is a requirement.

Old umpiring qualifications issued by the ACU&S will be recognised as follows by the ACO:

Current courses are as follows:

LevelUmpire Courses AvailableScorer Courses Available
IntroductionIntroductory CourseIntroductory Course
Level 1Introduction to Practical UmpiringHow to record a cricket match
Scoring Correspondence Course
Level 1AUnderstanding the GameUnderstanding the Game
Level 2Developing the experienced UmpireDeveloping the experienced Scorer
Level 3Introduction to semi-professional CricketAdvanced Scorer

A new education structure for both umpires and scorers is currently being phased in.


The association's Board as of 2014 consists of: [6]

The Board has the following sub-committees:

Further notable officers of the association are:

Official merchandise

The famous Worcester-based cricket company Duncan Fearnley manufactures and retails clothing and accessories exclusively for the ECB ACO. [7]


The association is registered at the ECB's head offices at Lord's Cricket Ground (Marylebone, Middlesex), but most administrative activity occurs at the ECB's offices at Edgbaston Cricket Ground (Birmingham, Warwickshire).

See also

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  1. ECB Archived 25 February 2015 at the Wayback Machine County Cricket Boards, List of
  2. Wales ACO
  3. ECB ACO Archived 16 March 2015 at the Wayback Machine Education – find a course
  4. ECB ACO Archived 2 April 2015 at the Wayback Machine Umpire pathway
  5. ECB ACO Archived 2 April 2015 at the Wayback Machine Scorer pathway
  6. Association of Cricket Officials Newsletter Issue 20 (Summer 2014)
  7. ECB ACO shop